Mexican & Spanish-American Wars | Letters from the Boys - 1898 (.pdf)

 

MEXICAN WAR TIME LINE – 1836-1848

2/23/1836-3/6/1836 - Siege of the Alamo - 187 Texans and frontiersmen fight to death in San Antonio against a Mexican army of 3000 men.

3/2/1836 - Texas declaration of independence is adopted at Washington, Texas.

4/21/1836 - Battle of San Jacinto - Gen. Sam Houston defeats Mexicans & captures Mexican Gen. Santa Anna.

10/22/1836 - The Independent Republic of Texas installs Sam Houston as president.

3/4/1845 - James Knox Polk is inaugurated as the 11th President of the U.S., after campaigning on promises of annexing Texas and expanding the Oregon Territory.

12/29/1845 - Texas becomes the 28th state.

4/25/1846 - After Polk took office, he sent a personal emissary, John Slidell, to Mexico to try to buy New Mexico and California.  When the Mexican government refused to receive Slidell, Polk sent troops under Gen. Zachary Taylor (old "Rough & Ready") to the disputed Rio Grande boundary.  Mexican troops attacked the U.S. soldiers and Polk claimed war had begun "by act of Mexico."

5/13/1846 - Congress declares war on Mexico. 

9/14/1847 - Mexico City is captured by U.S. troops led by Gen. Winfield Scott after a succession of American victories, including Vera Cruz and Pueblo.

1/24/1848 - Gold is discovered in California by James W. Marshall at Sutter's Mill.

2/2/1848 - The Mexican War ended with the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.  Mexico accepted payment of $15 million  for  territory  that  was  to  become California, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, and parts of Colorado and Wyoming - the largest accession of territory since the Louisiana Purchase.  Polk blocked the Wilmot Proviso, an attempt to exclude slavery from the new acquisitions.

Polk also tried to purchase Cuba from Spain for $100 million, but his offer was rejected.

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New Bremen's Mexican War Veterans

The following four New Bremenites are listed  in the Auglaize County Military Record as serving in the Mexican War.  Also listed on the May 31, 1937 Memorial Day program was Mike Keegan (1810-10/13/1883) whose death was recorded by Catherine (Helwig) Schulenberg, wife of Civil War Vet., Wm. Schulenberg, as "Mack."

Gottlieb Hermsmeyer (11/2/1827-6/12/1909) enlisted in April, 1847 in Co. "I", 4th O.V.I. and fought at Vera Cruz and Pueblo.  After the war, he settled on a farm in Shelby County, and in 1882, he moved to New Bremen with his third wife, Henrietta Blumhorst, and lived on S. Walnut St. 

Ernst Herring (12/13/1817-3/5/1898) also enlisted in April, 1847 in Co. "I", 4th O.V.I. and fought in both the Mexican War and the "war of rebellion" (Civil War).  He served in Co. "M", 1st O.L.A. (Ohio Light Artillery).

Casper Metz (3/7/1818-5/15/1877) served as 2nd Lieutenant in Co. "C" in the Mexican War and in the Indian Wars for 7 years. He married his 2nd wife, Philippine/Philomena Paul, on 10/16/1849.

William Schaffer (3/14/1810-11/8/1870) also enlisted in 1847 and was a Private in Co. "E", 4th O.V.I.  He married Sophia Charlotte Doenges on 4/20/1853.

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SPANISH-AMERICAN WAR

3/4/1897 - Republican William McKinley is inaugurated as the 25th President of the U.S.

2/15/1898 - An unexplained explosion on the U.S. battleship Maine in the harbor of Havana, Cuba, kills 260 of the crew while they were asleep.

4/11/1898 - Blockading proclamation issued.  the First gun of the war was fired by the gunboat Nashville in capturing the prize Buena Ventura.

4/20/1898 - President McKinley is authorized by Congress to intervene in Cuba with the U.S. Army and Navy, and to call the state militias as necessary.  When the news reached the large cities, whistles blew and bells rang.

4/23/1898 - The President calls for 125,000 2-year volunteers.

4/25/1898 - The U.S. declares war on Spain, demanding independence of Cuba.

5/1/1898 - Admiral George Dewey destroyed the Spanish fleet in Manila Bay, Philippine Islands.

5/12/1898 - San Juan de Puerto Rico falls before the guns of Admiral Sampson. The fleet arrived in the Puerto Rican harbor with the message "Remember the Maine" and did not lose a single ship or man.

5/25/1898 - The President calls for 75,000 additional volunteers.

6/3/1898 - The Merrimac is sunk in Santiago Harbor.

6/10/1898 - 600 U.S. marines landed at Caimanera.

7/1/1898 - Colonel Teddy Roosevelt's Rough Riders take San Juan Hill, losing 231 men, with 1364 wounded.

7/26/1898 - Spain proposes peace through French Ambassador Cambon.

8/12/1898 - Spain and the U.S. sign peace protocol, defining terms.  Hawaii annexed to the U.S.

11/28/1898 - Final terms of U.S. accepted by Spain at Paris.

12/10/1898 - The Spanish-American War ends with the signing of a treaty.  Spain frees Cuba, cedes Puerto Rico and Guam Islands to the U.S., and sells the Philippines to the U.S. for $20 million. 

2/4/1899 - After U.S. rule was established, Philippine guerrilla leader, Emilio Aguinaldo, began fighting the U.S. troops for 2 years until he was captured. 

1900 - Future U.S. President, William Howard Taft, was appointed President of the Philippine Commission (1900-1901) and Governor of the Philippines (1901-1904) by President McKinley. Later, President Theodore Roosevelt appointed him Secretary of War (1904-1908) and entrusted him with special missions to Cuba, Panama, the Philippines, and Japan.

9/6/1901 - President McKinley is shot by assassin Leon Szolgosz, an anarchist, in Buffalo, New York. 

9/14/1901 - President McKinley died.  He was the last President to have served in the Civil War, and the last to embark on a war of territorial expansion - the Spanish-American War.  He was born in Niles, Ohio, practiced law in Canton, and served as governor of Ohio from 1892 to 1896, when he won the Republican nomination for President of the U.S.  He had been re-elected in 1900 for a second term.

9/14/1901 - Republican Theodore Roosevelt is sworn in as the 26th President of the U.S. - at 42, the youngest ever to serve as President. (John F. Kennedy was the youngest ever to be elected, at 43.)

7/4/1902 - The Philippine-American War ends by proclamation of President Roosevelt.

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ABOUT THEODORE ROOSEVELT

As a youth, Theodore Roosevelt's health was poor.  His efforts to build up his physical strength by "roughing it" helped make him a sportsman, hunter, horseman, rancher, and explorer.  After his wife, Alice, and his mother, Martha, both died on the same day in 1884, he retired to his North Dakota ranch for the next two years, where he acquired many "western" mannerisms.

At the outbreak of the Spanish-American War, he resigned his position as assistant Secretary of the Navy and organized the volunteer cavalry regiment known as the "Rough Riders."

It was while Roosevelt served as governor of New York (1899-1901), that he first used the term, "Speak softly and carry a big stick, you will go far."  This was in regards to his relations with the New York Republicans.

In 1906, Roosevelt was the first President to travel outside the U.S. while in office.  He visited Panama, and was responsible for the beginning of construction of the Panama Canal.

He was also the first President to ride in a gasoline-powered automobile (8/22/1901) and the first to fly in an airplane (10/11/1910), a year after leaving the White House.

Theodore Roosevelt was succeeded by William Howard Taft as President in 1909.

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ENLISTED IN WAR

Ten New Bremenites Sign the Roll

(New Bremen Sun - 4/22/1898)

Recruiting officers of Company "L", 2nd Regiment, Ohio National Guard, of Wapakoneta, were at the Hotel Central yesterday afternoon and evening to receive applications from those desiring to enlist as reserves, to serve only in case of war with Spain.  Ten new recruits signed the pledge. They are as follows: wChrist H. Grothaus, wHenry Herring, William Hirschfeld, Lafe Huelsman, wW.C. Ivins, wClarence B. Kettler, wArthur Moeller, Julius Schwaberow, wOtto Steinebrey, wWilliam Tomhafe.  (w7 passed – see below).         

 

N.B.'s Spanish-American War Veterans

Company "L", 2nd O.V.I. - Walter H. Ahlers (Sgt.), George F. Bloss, William L. Heitman, Henry Herring, William E. Ivins, Clarence B. Kettler, Otto A. Steinebrey, William Tomhafe.

Others - Dr. William H. Fesker, Emmanuel P. Grundisch (Philippines), Eayre R. Haines (on 1937 program), Valerius H. Nieter, B(enjamin) C. Wiedeman (Philippines).

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OFF FOR CUBA

wSeven of the boys who enlisted in the service of the U.S. last week (see above)  passed examination.  The others were fairly good and would probably have been permitted to go had there not been more men than were needed.

The boys left New Bremen Monday morning for Wapakoneta. They were serenaded  at the Hotel Central by the Little Six Band and accompanied to the edge of town by a big crowd of citizens, the band playing and the cannon booming all the while.  The rendition of the Star Spangled Banner and Marching Through Georgia brought hearty responses, and amidst the patriotic shouts of the assembled crowd could be seen faces wetted with tears.  The old veterans stood by the 7 brave lads with the devotion of a father.  New Bremen is proud of her war lads.       

(New Bremen Sun - 4/29/1898)

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HER HEART WENT WITH JOE

The regiment came up the street, to field of glory bound.

At sight of it from surging crowd, a thousand cheers went round.

A maiden fair pressed close to one, her cheeks and eyes aglow,

And as her lips bestowed a kiss, she whispered, "Good-bye, Joe."

 

The soldier boy smiled through his tears, he looked upon her face.

He pressed her closely to his side, a last and fond embrace.

The crowds cheered on, the soldiers marched, they heard the bugles blow.

The sweetheart looked along the line and saw no one but Joe.

 

They little recked the trusting heart that beat so sad that day,

When to the fields of fame and death the gallants marched away.

The pallid maiden left the scene with faltering steps and slow,

As on and on beneath the flag, his thoughts with her, went Joe.

 

The incident the crowd forgot, it had its counterpart

In many a city fair where beats a young girl's trusting heart.

No matter where those heroes march, nor where they meet the foe,

Till he returns - God speed the day - her thoughts will be with Joe.

(New Bremen Sun - 5/6/1898)

 

[This was first published in “The Towpath” – July 2000.]

 

Mexican & Spanish-American Wars | Letters from the Boys - 1898 (.pdf)

 

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